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Psychol Aging. 2007 Dec;22(4):657-65. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.22.4.657.

Improving quality of life in diverse rural older adults: a randomized trial of a psychological treatment.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0348, USA.


The efficacy of home-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in improving quality of life and reducing psychological symptoms in older adults was examined in this study. One hundred thirty-four participants, predominately African American and characterized as primarily rural, low resource, and physically frail, were randomly assigned to either CBT or a minimal support control condition. Results indicate that CBT participants evidenced significantly greater improvements in quality of life and reductions in psychological symptoms. Mediation of treatment through cognitive and behavioral variables was not found despite the acceptable delivery of CBT by research therapists. These data suggest that treatment can be effective with a disadvantaged sample of older adults and extend efficacy findings to quality of life domains. Creating access to evidence-based treatments through nontraditional delivery is an important continuing goal for geriatric health care.

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